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Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will determine an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that will be used to award eligible students federal grants, state grants, loans, and student work-study. You must be accepted into a financial aid eligible program to receive these types of aid.
Federal Pell Grant
The Pell Grant is awarded to students with exceptional financial need who have NOT earned a bachelor's or graduate degree. The Pell Grant is used to provide the "base" for student's financial aid package. The maximum amount varies from year to year depending on published Department of Education payment schedules. Pell Grants do not have to be repaid.
The amount of this grant is determined by the Federal Pell grant EFC and the student's enrollment status:
12 credits & above (full time): 100% of award
9-11 credits (three-quarter time): 75% of award
6-8 credits (half-time): 50% of award
Under 6 credits (half-time): 25% of award
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
FSEOG is available to students who have a zero EFC and are not receiving a WI Grant. Students must also be enrolled at least half time (6 credits) to be eligible for this grant. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Wisconsin Grant is available to students who are Wisconsin residents and enrolled at least half time (6 credits). This grant is based on financial need. Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Minority Retention Grant Program
Minority Retention Grant Program is available to minority students who are Wisconsin residents in the second year of a two-year program, maintaining a 2.0 grade point average, and have financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Eligibility cannot exceed eight semesters. Minority status is determined by the data on our system. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Talent Incentive Program (TIP)
Talent Incentive Program (TIP) is designed for first-time students who are economically and/or academically disadvantaged. Students who feel they may qualify for this additional funding may contact the Eau Claire Department of Public Instruction at 715-836-3171 for further information. This grant is based on financial need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Wisconsin Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant
Wisconsin Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant is available to Wisconsin residents who are hearing or visually impaired and who also demonstrate financial need. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits. Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. Applications are available online.
Wisconsin Indian Grant (WIG)
Wisconsin Indian Grants (WIG) is available to Wisconsin residents who are at least 25% Native American (certification for degree of Indian blood required). Awards are based on financial need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to apply early.
Students interested in receiving Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funding must complete a separate Indian Scholarship Application which is obtained from their tribal education office for the purpose of certifying the student's degree of Indian blood.
It is a student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Student Financial Aid to be nominated for WIG if not receiving BIA.
Western offers several types of student loans to help you finance your education. The following information highlights the different student loan programs available and the eligibility requirements for each. While student loans are an excellent option to help you meet your educational goals, loans are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest. Interest rates vary from different loan programs and times; it is in your best interest to only borrow what you need in student loans.
Students who are first-year, first-time Direct Loan borrowers must wait 30 days into the term to receive their student loans. Students who are at Western for one term only or have a loan originated for one term must receive their Direct Loan and/or PLUS Loan in two disbursements.
Direct Loan Program
Western participates in the Direct Loan Program. This means that eligible students and parents will borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education, instead of a bank or credit union. All NEW student loan borrowers will need to complete the Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN) AND Entrance Counseling.
PLUS Loans are federally guaranteed loans that parents may obtain to help pay for the cost of education for their dependent child, the student. Certain credit conditions apply, and a credit check is required.
Exit Counseling is required for any students who have received student loans at Western, and have dropped below half time (6 credits), or have completed a program (graduated).
Private Loan Information and Application Process
Some students find they need additional funds beyond their grant and Direct Loan eligibility to meet their expenses while attending college.
Federal college work-study (FWS) provides jobs to students with financial need, allowing you to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. On-campus positions are available, as well as off-campus community service positions. You must be enrolled at least half-time (six credits) to qualify to work under this program. If you are eligible for FWS, you can earn up to the amount listed on your award letter or until Western's total college work-study allocation is exhausted. FWS students are paid on a bi-monthly basis, based on the number of hours worked. The rate of pay is $9.00/hour. Students may not work more than 12 hours per week unless they are employed during the summer (July-August) in which they can work up to 25 hours per week. (Students enrolled in summer credit classes are not eligible to work under the Summer work-study program.) This money is earned and paid to you, not deducted from your Western account. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
If you experience an unexpected financial hardship, Emergency Funding is available for students who qualify. Covered expenses may include dependent care, gas, background checks, limited tuition, medical expenses, utilities, vehicle repairs, food and housing. Expenses such as books, legal fees, tobacco, alcohol and entertainment expenses are not covered. To apply for emergency funding, complete the online application.
WIOA (Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act) is designed to assist qualifying students with the cost of tuition, books, tools and/or transportation assistance.